Leader Views


Posted on:
8th March, 2019

"There are several compelling reasons for women to apply for LEP board positions"

Greater Lincolnshire LEP Director, Ruth Carver, explains why more women should apply for positions on LEP boards.

"There are several compelling reasons for women to apply for LEP board positions"

Not enough women are putting themselves forward for non-executive positions at local enterprise partnerships across the country.  A recent job advertisement for new board members at the Greater Lincolnshire LEP attracted only one application from women. 

We recognise that more must be done to promote the opportunities and benefits to business women of acting in a voluntary capacity as board members for LEPs. While the immediate benefit would be a skills gain for the LEP, there are clear benefits to the board members themselves too.

There are several compelling reasons to apply for board member positions:

  • You become part of a team that directly pitches for central government funding for economic development and influences how it is allocated in the area where you live and work. This has a real impact on the economic growth prospects of your local area. It’s all about focusing on the best opportunities for increasing productivity and attracting talent to the area as well as tackling the key issues such as skills, housing and infrastructure. Being on the board of a LEP gives you a real voice and influence on local economic investment decisions. Government is closer than you think.
  • LEPs aren’t just looking for corporate, CEO-style experience. LEPs need and want ‘normal’ business people too.  Equally relevant is experience gained running a SME, being an entrepreneur or leading a significant local business.
  • The intellectual challenges, development and satisfaction gained from being a board member are a real highlight of the job. You don’t need to be an expert in everything to qualify for board member status.  Don’t underestimate the value of your area of expertise.

Being a non-executive board member of a LEP is an interesting and rewarding experience. Not only do you make a real, valuable contribution to the economic success of your local area, but you also work with inspiring people on exciting, challenging projects. More women should consider applying for non-executive board member positions. The experience and insights brought to the board by having more women in business would be hugely valuable and would make a positive difference to LEPs.

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